John has welcomed the announcement that pupils across Oxfordshire have benefited from in excess of 2,500 laptops and tablets to date, as the Government hits an important milestone in its rollout of devices to support disadvantaged young people. More than 1 million laptops and tablets have now been delivered to schools and local authorities across England, as part of a £400 million investment that will support schools and young people for years to come.
John said: “No child should miss out on their education as a result of the disruption caused by this pandemic. That is why it has been our priority to equip those children most in need with the resources they need to succeed. I very much welcome that young people across Oxfordshire are continuing to benefit from the raft of measures the Government has put in place to help schools deliver high-quality learning, and the devices we now have received will ensure no child’s education is hindered, regardless of their background or circumstance. While we hope that all our children will be back learning in the classroom as soon as possible, we will do everything in our power to give them the world-class education they deserve as they learn at home.”
The devices that the government is providing sits alongside a package of extensive support for the most disadvantaged children. This includes partnering with the UK’s leading mobile network operators to provide free data to disadvantaged families, alongside a further £300 million being invested in tutoring programmes building on the existing £1 billion Covid Catch Up Fund. To further strengthen remote education provision, the government has also provided more than 54,000 4G routers to schools and colleges across England, ensuring no child is prohibited from receiving a quality education due to a lack of internet access.
The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson said: “I know what a challenging period this has been for pupils, teachers and parents - but it has been nothing short of inspiring to see schools and staff going above and beyond, as they always have done, to give our pupils the very best education possible. Online access has been an important part of this work and will continue to be as we help young people catch-up after the disruption caused by the pandemic, which is why the delivery of these one million laptops is so vital. They represent one million children who will not let their education be overcome by this virus. I want parents to know that we’ll continue to do everything we can to protect our children’s education at this unprecedented time and ensure they have the tools they need to get on with and make the most of their lives”.